Gluten Free Diet – is barley gluten free?

by Allergy Guy

Is barley gluten-free?  One question many ask when starting a gluten free diet is whether barley is safe for those with celiac or gluten allergy.

Barley does contain gluten, so you have to cut it out if you’re going gluten-free.  Sorry to bring you the bad news.

Gluten is found in barley, wheat, rye and oats.  Some dispute oats, but you’re safer to include it on the list if you are celiac.

Barley is in quite a few things.  Many types of beer are made with barley (or wheat, or both).  It can be found in breads and cereals, which often  contain barley or barley malt.

Barley containing foods

Some foods that may contain barley include the following.  Always check ingredients.  Some brands may contain barley, while others are free of it.  With some brands it may depend on the flavour.

  • Bread
  • Cereals
  • Beer
  • Hot dog buns
  • Hamburger buns
  • Crackers
  • Pretzels
  • Cakes
  • Some pie crust
  • Bread crumbs
  • Potato chips
  • Instant breakfast mixes
  • Cocoa mixes
  • Soup
  • Brown rice syrup

Malt and maltodextrin may be derived from barley.

Avoiding gluten means more than just avoiding wheat.  Wheat is the most common source of gluten, but remember to watch out for oats, barley and rye.

Processed foods have all sorts of unlikely ingredients, so don’t be fooled by common sense, always read labels.

Always ask at restaurants.  Many restaurants know about gluten and wheat, but may miss barley as an gluten-contributing factor.

Staying gluten-free can be like crossing a mine field, but if you have a gluten allergy or are celiac, it is well worth the effort.

What is your experience with a gluten-free diet and barley?

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 J March 1, 2014 at 08:50

Please try probiotics as well. Research the best one for you and start taking one every day the results are amazing.

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2 Brenda in MT October 25, 2012 at 11:13

Still looking for answer wether barley sugar (used to make old fashion lollipops) is gluten free. Would the sugar have the proteins that cause the celiac reaction or are those filtered out of the product

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3 Kathie June 28, 2012 at 21:01

There is a book written by William Davis, MD
called Wheat Belly“. I am finding out that wheat is what gives people belly fat.

I recommend it as it has very interesting info.
I am not allergic but have become glutin free for the belly fat aspect of it

[Note: there is also a Wheat Belly cook book -editor]

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4 janice May 26, 2012 at 12:49

Does barley sugar also contain gluten?

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5 Allergy Guy May 27, 2012 at 15:51

I would avoid it.

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6 Ryan April 14, 2012 at 14:06

I find many “gluten-free” cereals that contain Barley and/or Oats…i get the oats because I have researched the reasons that oats sometimes contain gluten (harvesting/growing issues) but gluten free barley?? I don’t buy it!!

For all you out there that are in tears over the lost pizza, pasta, bread, and cereal. DON’T FRET!! It’s a hard adjustment but so very worth it! I dioscovered my gluten allergy about 5 years ago and now I don’t miss these things at all ’cause I have some great substitutes. Pizza was my worst craving…NAMASTE Gluten-Free Pizza Crust saved my life..i use it to make rolls and bisquits as well and now I can have bread at home. Unfortunatly I have found you CAN NOT TRUST anyone but yourself when it comes to ingredients…people either don’t understand, don’t care, or simply think they know better than you and your body…it’s sad what “FOOD” has come to in this world, but sites like this one will help us pave the way for the new REAL FOOD regime…we can do it together 🙂 🙂

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7 Allergy Guy April 15, 2012 at 00:57

I agree with you Ryan. Too many companies are jumping on the gluten free diet bandwagon, as if it were a fad, not understanding the serious consequences for celiacs and those with a gluten allergy.

Oats are debatable, and personally I don’t recommend them. Barley is certainly right out!

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8 Loree February 5, 2012 at 21:14

I made a bean soup from my local food coop and had a terrible reaction,
pain, severe boosting, and gas. I called them today and found out it has
barley in the mix. Should have read the fine print.

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9 catherine December 19, 2011 at 07:19

I HATE WHEAT!!!!!!

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10 Allergy Guy December 19, 2011 at 10:26

I do to, I wish there was a world-wide ban on this noxious plant, but alas, I don’t think this will happen LOL!

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11 catherine December 19, 2011 at 07:18

i find this news very upsetting, why is this happening to me?!?!?!!?!?!?!

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12 Allergy Guy December 19, 2011 at 10:26

Hi Catherine,

It can be hard to adjust to the idea that you must forever avoid certain foods.

I don’t know if you will ever find an answer as to why this is happening to you. You will see from the many comments on this site (see especially Gluten Allergy Symptoms) that you share your plight with many others, so you are in good company!

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13 m May 25, 2011 at 19:48

Thanks for the info- I suspected barley was on the ‘list.’ So many things to cut out! I wish they’d expand the selection of available gluten-free foods.

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14 Allergy Guy May 25, 2011 at 20:27

There is no shortage of gluten-free foods! I’m working on a series right now to show you the vast array of gluten-free foods to choose from! See Gluten Free Foods for Gluten Allergy and Celiac for the growing list!

Note: no carbs yet on that list but you’ll find lots of info elsewhere on this site and carbs will eventually be added when I get to them.

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